Initiative will Support Military, Veterans, their Families and Caregivers
Tampa, Fla. – The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance, has awarded the Straz Center a $50,000 Creative Forces® Community Engagement grant to help support the Straz Salutes initiative.
The Straz is among the inaugural recipients of the new grant program, which has awarded more than $750,000 to support projects at 26 organizations across the county. View the complete list. The awards support community-based arts programming that will expands the work of Creative Forces into more communities nationwide to address the distinct experiences, challenges and strengths of military-connected populations through the arts.
“We couldn’t be prouder to provide the Straz Salutes program to our local community,” said Straz Center President and CEO Judy Lisi. “The Tampa Bay region has a rich military tradition, and we are thrilled that this generous grant will help us to reach veterans, their families and all who care for them.”
Straz Salutes provides multiple access points to the performing arts, arts learning and artmaking for active duty and veteran military, their families, and caregivers. Project activities include Veterans Creative Arts Showcases, Your VetChat monthly virtual events, Veteran Civilian Arts Ensemble – a multidisciplinary workshop for veterans to explore performing and visual arts disciplines at the Straz Center, four Broadway Military Family Nights at selected touring Broadway performances, and the VetArtSpan.org website chocked full of resources, stories, and artmaking opportunities.
By providing opportunities for engaging in art or artmaking, projects such as Straz Salutes seek to help participants gain a better understanding of themselves and others through creative expression, while increasing their sense of belonging to a community. Participation in the arts often leads to individual and shared sense of purpose, as well as positive self-worth, supporting their ability to adapt and readjust to life’s challenges.
“I am pleased to see that through the Creative Forces Community Engagement grants, there will be more opportunities for arts engagement available to more Veterans and their families and caregivers, and in more places across America,” said Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough. “It is vital that we care for and support those who have served, and the arts can play an invaluable role in contributing to their health and well-being.”
About Creative Forces®: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs that seeks to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for military and veteran populations exposed to trauma, as well as their families and caregivers. These grants increase access to arts activities in more communities and serve a broad population, including active-duty service members, guardsmen, reservists, veterans, military and veteran families, as well as caregivers and healthcare workers providing care for military service members and veterans. Creative Forces is managed in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, and Mid-America Arts Alliance. More information can be found at arts.gov/creativeforces and creativeforcesnrc.arts.gov
For more information about the Straz Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, visit www.strazcenter.org.